Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween Swiss Style

Giant Pumpkin

I'm still in Lausanne and thought I'd share the giant jack-o-lantern I came across on my weekend wanderings.  Want proof it is enormous - check out the photo below - it is the size of a CAR.  It was across the way from a club - so I'm guessing they held some sort of costume party over the weekend. It's been years since I dressed up, but I'm hoping for a little FaceTime chat with my niece and nephew so I can see their costumes. One thing I'm not missing is all the left over candy, which I promise myself I won't eat...and then I do.

Giant Pumpkin with Car

How are you celebrating Halloween this year?

Duffy - I'm Scared

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm in....

View - Vineyard, Lake, Sky
I'm in....Switzerland, but I'm not staying... I'm just stopping in on my way to... (cue excited music.)


I'm in Switzerland for a while in my company's offices while we work out the details for Istanbul, I don't know yet when I'm going, where I'm staying or how long I'll be there, but I anticipate spending most of the rest of this year and a good part of next year as well.  I'm so excited to explore some place new.

When I started this blog nearly 4 years ago, my goal was to keep a record of my life in Delhi (I regret not having any real record of my two years in Rio.)  I'm excited to get back to the core of that goal and use this blog to record my adventures and discoveries in a new place and culture.  While, I've LOVED having a year at home and I adored last year and its opportunity to live and work in Lexington KY, I'm thrilled to once again be an expat and experience life in Istanbul.

Have you been to Istanbul/Turkey?  I'd love to hear what places I should see and things I should do.  I should have used the past few weeks to do research - but I haven't, I think I was afraid of jinxing things if I got to serious in my planning.

There is really only one song that can go on this post: Istanbul (not Constantinople) - this version is by They Might Be Giants.

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Monday, October 24, 2011

Things Change

For the last 6 weeks I've been on pins and needles ready to pack up and leave at a minutes notice.  A big work project was calling - but I didn't know where or when I'd leave.  I've had my suitcase half packed and my fridge has never been so empty.

Today I'm finally on an airplane - and instead of telling you where I'm going, I think I'll let you guess and spill the beans after I arrive.  I will apologize in advance as I think my blog commenting will be taking a back seat to work for a while, but I'll do my very best at least keeping up with the reading.

While I'm navigating the joys of air travel, if you want to know a little bit more about me, hop over to Christianna's lovely blog: The Girl with the Blue Bow.  I'm the interviewee today in her Any Friend of Mine series.

With changes on my mind today - a little Susie Suh seems perfect: Seasons Change
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Friday, October 21, 2011

Deer Season

Deer 1
I grew up in a rural area where deer hunting season was a very big deal - we even got a day off school for the opening of the hunt.

Deer 3
This year during the hunt I did manage to get my deer - although my version of "get" involves getting a few photos of one.

Deer 2
Given that the women in my family used the dear hunt holiday as a retail holiday where the only thing that got a work out was our credit card, I've decided this kind of hunting (with a camera) might just work for me.  After all, this way I get pretty pictures and no big credit card bill when I'm finished.

Did anyone else get a school holiday for something as odd as the Deer Hunt?  Or is it just rural Utah?  Note, they called it Fall Break, so it wasn't quite as blatant as I make it sound.

I hope this little doe never finds herself in the headlights.
Owl City: Deer in the Headlights Pin It

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fall Leaves Pt 2

Fall has officially arrived in my part of the world with it all the lovely fall leaves and some pretty amazing skies.
Accord Lake 9

Accord Lake 8

Accord Lake 6

Accord Lake 5

Accord Lake 4

How about you?  Are the leaves changing in your area yet?  Have you been out to see them?

Have you heard the new Ryan Adams album yet?  It is very much worth checking out.  Lucky Now has me singing along.
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Monday, October 17, 2011

The Cabin

Cabin Road
I mentioned Friday I had spent some time at my parents cabin - and since my sister and her family missed out on the trip thanks to the flu, I thought I'd share what she missed.  First up, the road to the cabin.

Cabin Steps
Next, the steps leading up to the balcony - and if you look closely a glimpse of the old outhouse.

Cabin 3
There have been some renovations and it looks better than ever, best of all - the new roof that made the balcony the best part of the cabin.

Cabin Swing
Grandma and Grandpa put up a tire swing for the little ones - they will love it.

Log Chair
The log chair at the fire pit, aka the king's throne.

Sun Flare
My favorite grove of trees - the sun always seems to shine through these trees in the most beautiful way.  We spent tons of time here when we were growing up, but adult life means it is much harder to get there - but every time I do I fall in love with it all over again.

When I think music and cabin I think of Bon Iver holed up in a cabin creating his amazing For Emma, Forever Ago album, including this song: Flume Pin It

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fall Leaves

Accord Lake 3
My parents have a mountain cabin not far from my hometown. I don't get to visit often, but every time I do, I remember why we all fell in love with the location - especially in Autumn.

Accord Lake 2
Last week I managed to spend a couple of hours there on a Sunday afternoon.  My dad took me for a drive a patiently stopped the car every time I wanted to take a photo - many, many times.

Accord Lake 1
It was a strange day - sunny but with dark ominous clouds - which made for some fun contrasts in some of the photos.  

Do you have a favorite place to see the Autumn leaves?  Or do you live in one of those areas where you just get to enjoy green year round?

In other news:
  • We are building a playlist of cover songs at Inspiration Studio, why don't you pop over and share your favorite with us. 
  • My master bedroom is finally finished, and was featured on one of my favorite design blogs, 6th Street Design School.  Kirsten helped me with the planning for the bedroom and gave me the courage to take it in a new (but scary to me) direction.  
Steve Azar's Startin' Today woke me up this morning - and the melody has been in my head ever since, and with lyrics like these, it's been a positive message all day long:

Startin' today I'm gonna turn this boat around
Catch that rainbow I've been chasin' down
It's all right, I'll be OK
Startin' today

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Wednesday, October 12, 2011

New Music

Last week I was in the mood for some new music, and after having seen Dustin Christensen's name several places I decided it was time to give him a listen.  I am so glad I did - I've listened to his new album, Highway Lines, (and nothing else) for an entire week and it just gets better with every listen.  His songs are amazing and his voice is stunning.

Have you discovered any new artists lately?  You know me - I'm always looking for someone new to fall in love with.

You can stream Dustin's newest album here:  Dustin Christensen - Highway Lines

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Monday, October 10, 2011

Trying Something New

A few nights ago I took my camera out just as the sun was setting - I wanted to experiment with night photos. I learned two things. First I need a lot more practice. Second, it may be time to invest in a tripod. Do you have any recommendation on the tripod front?

SLC Valley at Sunset
This first shot is the view of the Salt Lake Valley from my neighborhood. That line of gray in the middle of the photo is the Great Salt Lake.

For some reason the moon was even harder to capture than the city view - every shot was fuzzy. More proof it is time to invest in a tripod.

Hope you had a great weekend.  I had plans to be super productive. Instead I found myself in the middle of a Twilight marathon.What is it about those movies and the books that suck me back in from time to time?

Ten points to the person who can tell me which movie and scene this song comes from:
Iron & Wine: Flightless Bird (American Mouth) Pin It

Friday, October 7, 2011

A White Surprise

snow 3
I woke up yesterday to a very white surprise: snow.  And not just a little bit of snow.....

Snow 1
Not only does it seem extremely early to be seeing snow (it was in the 80s last week) but take a look at the leaves on my aspen trees.  For starters - there are still leaves on the trees, and the are still GREEN.  They haven't even started to change colors!

Snow 2
I suspect (okay, I pray) this is just a freak early storm and that it will quickly melt and be back at least in the 70s again soon.  I'm just getting into the swing of Fall, I'm in no way ready for Winter.

I'm using the storm as an excuse to dig out Snow Patrol - with their songs coming through the speakers outside seems a little less dreary.

Snow Patrol - You Are My Joy

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Gallery Wall - Finished

Gallery Wall
Remember back in August where I forced you to live through post after post of my travel photos as part of August Break? I did that for a reason - I wanted to create a gallery wall at my house and fill it with photos from some of my favorite places. August Break and the gallery wall gave me a good excuse to dig through old files to find some of my favorite photos (and if you haven't done this in a while you should, it was so my fun revisiting those trips and memories.)

Living room
I finally got around to printing, framing and hanging the photos - and I have to say, I'm very happy with the way it turned out.  I even had enough photos to start a wall on the  opposite side of the staircase and I hope to keep adding to my collection.

There are two prints on the wall that aren't mine - I purchased them on etsy (here and here), these prints define my travel philosophy making them a perfect fit:

"My favorite thing is to go where I've never been."
"I was not born for one corner; the whole world is my native land."

My thoughts on gallery walls - they aren't cheap and they aren't easy.  Most of my frames came from Ikea or Michaels - but even with good prices frames add up quickly.  I also won't pretend the actual hanging was easy - it took planning and a bit of math, but I'm convinced it was worth it.

Do you have a gallery wall at your house?  Do you print and hang the photos you take?  If not, what do you do with your photos to keep them from just becoming gigs of data on your hard drive?  

I've been listening to Laura Marling a lot lately and I can't get enough of her Rambling Man - it seems an appropriate accompany to a post about travel photos.
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Monday, October 3, 2011

Family Blessings

I had a bit of a health scare last week - it all started with the stomach flu, which led to a serious case of dehydration, which caused me to pass out and have a episode of muscle spasms, which led to some cuts and bruises and a very sore head.  I'm completely fine now, but last week reminded me how incredibly blessed I am and what an amazing family I have.

After my little episode I was sitting there, dazed and confused, honestly not understanding what had happened. But I kept hearing this still, small voice telling me I needed to call my sister (who lives nearby) and tell her what happened.  I finally picked up the phone, she, of course, urged me to go to the doctor.  I, of course, said no (I have a thing about doctors and hate to go.)  I just asked her to call me back in an hour or so and check on me.

My sister got off the phone and this time she was the one who heard that small voice.  This one told her that I was wrong and she needed to get me help.  She put her work on hold, got my brother-in-law to come home and watch their kids and called me back and told me whether I wanted to or not we were going to the doctor.  She even managed to track down my parents (which I thought was impossible since they were camping and out of cell phone range.)

My sister got me to the doctor and set there with me for several hours while they gave me IV fluids and my mom showed up soon after so I didn't have to spend the night alone.

I'm so grateful for the promptings we felt that day, and that we acted on them. I know that things could have been much worse if I hadn't gotten the help I needed when I did.  I'm also feeling incredibly blessed to have the kind of family that drops everything when someone is in need.

I'm here for you
In sinking sand
Just grab my hand
And with all I have
I'll hold on
Matt Wertz: Family
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